Without an Agenda: Talking with the Crew of the ‘Sunbeam’ – Part 2

Mission Island Health Director Sharon Daley, RN. (Photo courtesy Eva Murray)

Pen Bay Pilot
Without an Agenda: talking with the crew of the ‘Sunbeam’ – Part 2
By Eva Murray – Posted:  Tuesday, April 2, 2019 – 1:45pm

I brought up how March on an island has classically been considered the hardest time, and asked, “Do you see a seasonal impact on people in terms of depression?”

Sharon’s reply was particularly interesting to me, and it defied the stereotype of the “long lonely winter.”

“I see August as also being hard for people on all the islands.” (Hearing these words from her made me smile, as I personally feel the stress of the intensely busy summer much more acutely than any stress from a low population, even though that issue gets little media attention in Maine). “The population on every island doubles (or more,) and everybody’s working really hard, and having so many people around always needing a lot of things can be really hard. By August, people are ready for it to be quieter.”

I could have hugged her. We hear a lot about the impacts on mood and mental health of isolation and long winters, but less about the sense of being overwhelmed, overworked, or “always on call” during a Maine coast summer.

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